Improvisations in material handling and logistics over time has brought sustainability in the mainstream, companies are increasingly focusing on implementing returnable packaging, so as to reduce transportation and handling losses and avoid repurchasing of disposable packaging. Within close loop supplies, manufacturers usually adopts ‘milk run’ to supply their products, returnable packaging systems market forms crucial part of such supply chain, as manufacturers/suppliers do not need to invest again in disposable packaging. Returnable packaging proves beneficial and cost effective for businesses where timely and safe delivery of products is of utter importance.
According to Reusable Packaging Association, the returnable packaging system market witnessed annual growth between 8–10% over past few years. The returnable packages are available in form of reusable pallets, hand-held containers, racks, bulk containers, etc. returnable packaging systems has a longer life span as these are made from durable materials such as plastic, wood and metals. Returnable packaging systems offer other distinctive features such as appealing aesthetics, easier to clean and stronger than disposable packaging systems.
Despite many operational benefits, returnable packaging systems may not be desired by every supply system due to its capital intensive nature. Returnable packaging systems are extensively used for FMCG and are significantly increasing their penetration in pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Besides food and pharmaceutical industries returnable packaging systems find their application in automotive and electronics industry.
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The growth of returnable packaging systems market is driven by demands from food & beverage, consumer good, pharmaceuticals and automotive industry. Due to its durability and robust performance, returnable packaging is preferred in various end use applications which in turn surges demand for returnable packaging systems markets. Rising level of wages in developing countries is expected to significantly increase consumer spending which in turn will support growth of the returnable packaging systems market. Substantially increasing global vehicle production is also expected to support the growth of the market.
However, though returnable packaging system reduces packaging purchase and disposal costs but at the same time logistics cost is increased due to need to control return cycle. Hence higher cost is a factor which could hamper growth of the market. Further, existing economic uncertainty in some countries of Asia and Latin America could hamper growth of the market.